The design ecosystem

April: Milan. May: New York. The worldwide design calendar offers two adjacent appointments, different from each other but equally important. Two major attractions for ideas

NYCxDesign 2023 – Photo © Rune Stokmo

The worldwide design calendar features two key events in temporal proximity: Milano Design Week, which continues to be the global epicenter of design and décor, and its New York counterpart. Milano Design Week 2024 came to a conclusion on 21 April. And it was a big success, with a spirit of change: the Salone del Mobile.Milano racked up visitor numbers close to the tallies of the pre-Covid era: 370,824 visitors this year (+20.2% over 2023, with 65% of the professionals arriving from abroad), 386,236 in 2019. This happened in spite of the reduction of the exhibit spaces, organized on a single level since last year, no longer on two floors.

Ruben Modigliani - Photo © Valentina Sommariva
Ruben Modigliani – Photo © Valentina Sommariva

Of course there were also some shadows lurking: larger numbers of leading brands opted to stay away from the fair, and others may well join them in the future; and more complaints were heard about the lack of central coordination for the entire Fuorisalone, which was widely scattered (the website reported 1125 events) and tiring to visit. Nevertheless, the numbers tell the story. In New York, from 16 to 23 May, the spotlight shifts to NYCxDesign, a sort of distributed festival (something like the Fuorisalone), and from 19 to 21 May the fair ICFF returns, following a rebranding operation and with a new direction that already in last year’s edition saw an audience boost of 37% over the previous year.

Salone del Mobile.Milano 2024, talk Crafting Futures – Photo © Romano Dubbini, Salone del Mobile.Milano

The show spreads out into the city: the Big Apple never stands still, the design districts (showrooms, stores, galleries) keep moving and changing. Just like the skyline of the city, which continues to have one of the most dynamic real estate sectors in the western world: this is why it is important to be there. Milan and New York, different and in some ways complementary, are two centers of gravity for a grand cultural ecosystem that constantly produces new ideas. Building on the present, it permits us to imagine the future.

NYCxDesign 2023

Through the eyes of IFDM, it will be delightful to stroll through the new storefronts on Madison Avenue, where the lights will shine on the signs of the industry’s big names that have moved from Soho to NoMad. Mark your calendars for May 17 and 18 to experience live what this Design Week will unveil.